Heart and Vascular

Greenville, N.C. – October 27, 2021 ECU Health Medical Center (VMC) is proud to announce it has received re-certification for its cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation program by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). This is the fourth recertification for VMC by the AACVPR since 2012, and it recognizes VMC’s commitment to improving the quality of life of patients by enhancing standards of care.

To earn this certification, VMC’s cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation program participated in an application process that required extensive documentation of the program’s practices. Each program’s application is reviewed by the AACVPR Program Certification Committee, and certification is awarded by the AACVPR Board of Directors.

For VMC, part of the application process included the submission of individual treatment plans that were evaluated for personalizing the care of patients and documenting patients’ rehabilitation for improvements in health.

“This outcome-based process with performance measurements shows more meaningful results in how we are making a positive impact on the lives of our patients,” said Stacey Greenway, director of cardiovascular disease management programs at VMC.

For patients in the cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation program, it is the compassion of the staff that is a big part of their success. During rehabilitation, cardiac and pulmonary team members focus on the things the patients can control in order to improve their health and get them back to their daily activities. When patients take part in these rehabilitation programs, there is a 58 percent risk reduction of having a future cardiac or pulmonary episode.

“One of the most important benefits to patients participating in our cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation program is learning how to become more engaged partners with their health care team,” Dr. Noel Peterson, cardiologist at Vidant Health, said. “We are pleased to once again receive this recognition of continued excellence in comprehensive care for our patients receiving cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.”

Cardiac rehabilitation is a combination of medical care and counseling to improve cardiovascular health after a heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty or heart surgery has taken place. It may include exercise counseling and training, lifestyle education (e.g., nutrition and reducing risk factors) and efforts to manage stress. Cardiac rehabilitation eases patients into heart-healthy exercises, nutrition education and education on how to manage risk factors such as stress.

Pulmonary rehabilitation can help reduce and control breathing difficulties and other symptoms of lung disease and benefit conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, pulmonary hypertension and sarcoidosis. Pulmonary rehabilitation includes education and exercise to manage chronic lung disease with less shortness of breath.

“Factors like learning how to be more proactive about health and providing programs that demonstrate the highest standards of best practices makes a significant impact on the lives of our patients,” said Greenway. “The diligent work of our VMC cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation team members recognized by the AACVPR is another example of how we are providing quality health care to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina.”